alexa Gender Differences in Self-Perceived Personal Resources of Older Adults with Generalized Anxiety Symptoms
ISSN: 2329-8847

Journal of Aging Science
Open Access

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Research Article

Gender Differences in Self-Perceived Personal Resources of Older Adults with Generalized Anxiety Symptoms

Friederike H Boehlen1*, Wolfgang Herzog1, Dieter Schellberg1, Imad Maatouk1, Kai-Uwe Saum2, Hermann Brenner2 and Beate Wild1

1Department of General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatics, Medical University Hospital, INF 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

2Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, INF 581, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

*Corresponding Author:
Friederike H Boehlen
Department of General Internal Medicine and Psychosomatics
Medical University Hospital, INF 410, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Tel: +49-(0)-6221-56-8649
Fax: +49-(0)-6221-56-5749
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: April 07, 2017; Accepted date: April 26, 2017; Published date: April 28, 2017

Citation: Boehlen FH, Herzog W, Schellberg D, Maatouk I, Saum KU, et al. (2017) Gender Differences in Self-Perceived Personal Resources of Older Adults with Generalized Anxiety Symptoms. J Aging Sci 5:178. doi: 10.4172/2329-8847.1000178

Copyright: © 2017 Boehlen FH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Symptoms of general anxiety disorder (GAD) are common in older age, especially in women. Gender and sex differences in anxiety influence the way individuals interact with others and how they cope with new circumstances. Psychosocial resources (personal traits, social contacts, etc.) play an important role in the process of dealing with subjective worries and difficult situations. The aim of this study is to examine gender differences of self-perceived personal resources in elderly patients with GAD-symptoms.

Methods: 3124 elderly persons (ages 55-85) were included in the study at the third follow-up of the large population-based German ESTHER study. GAD-symptoms were measured with the GAD-7 (cut-point>5). Psychosocial resources were assessed during a home visit by trained study doctors using a list of 26 different items.

Results: GAD-symptoms were found in 434 individuals (13.9%; 67.1% female, 32.9% male). Self- efficacy, family, and feeling needed were the most frequently reported resources in older adults with GAD-symptoms. Personal resources (composure, humor) and social resources (partner, leisure activities) were reported significantly less frequently by elderly women compared to men. Women with GAD-symptoms showed a significantly reduced quality of life, a higher severity of somatic symptoms, and a higher degree of loneliness compared to men.


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